Rising Star Nominees

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The profiles of the NEAFL Rising Star Award nominees will be published on this page every week throughout the 2017 season.

SOUL CORMICK (Redland Bombers)

Age: 20. NEAFL Games: 23.

Few players would have been happier to land on a NEAFL list this year than Redland midfielder Soul Cormick.

The 20-year-old Sunshine Coast product is reaping the rewards of the opportunity handed by the Bombers to join their club, after years of navigating his way through the Queensland football system.

Cormick first joined the Brisbane Lions Academy when he was 16 and represented Queensland at the National Under-18s Championships.

Read the full story here.



Oskar Baker (Aspley Hornets)

Age: 18. NEAFL Games: 2.

Being cut from the Brisbane Lions Academy may prove to be the turning point in NEAFL Rising Star nominee Oskar Baker’s career.

The Wilston Grange junior was 17 when his five-year involvement with the Lions Academy came to an end.

Baker had never represented Queensland at under-age National Championships level and was yet to make his senior debut with Wilston Grange, who he first joined in the under-8s.

But Baker wouldn’t be deterred by the setback, instead setting his sights on reaching the NEAFL.

Read the full story here.


Will Gowers (Sydney Swans)

Age: 19. NEAFL Games: 8

Sydney Swans Academy member Will Gowers considers himself a very lucky man.

He was lucky to have been an inaugural member of the Swans Academy eight years ago, he was fortunate to join their Under-19 squad in the NEAFL this year, and he says he was even in the right place at the right time in Darwin on Friday night.

Gowers first joined the Swans Academy when he was 11 years old. He was part of the very first intake of academy members, and has been part of the club ever since.

Read the full story here.


Darcy Baron-Hay (Sydney University)

Age: 19. NEAFL Games: 20.

By his own admission, Darcy Baron-Hay was ‘pretty lucky’ to even make a NSW/ACT Rams 60-player squad two years ago.

But it was genius move from coach Tadhg Kennelly which completely transformed the player he was.

Baron-Hay had played all his junior football in Sydney as a key forward up until one day when Kennelly threw him in defence to see if he would sink or swim.

Read the full story here.


Callum McFadden (Sydney University)

Age: 20. NEAFL Games: 23.

Sydney University midfielder Callum McFadden has been recognised for his strong start to the NEAFL season with the Round 3 Rising Star nomination.

The former Sydney Swans Academy member has been named in the Students’ best in two out of three matches so far, including their 57-point victory over Redland at Henson Park on Saturday.

Following several years within the Swans Academy and NSW/ACT Rams programs, McFadden was played for the Swans in the NEAFL last year as part of the club’s newly-formed NEAFL Development Squad.

Read the full story here.


Mitch Maguire (Canberra Demons)

Age: 18. NEAFL Games: 5.

Canberra Demons midfielder Mitch Maguire earned the Round 2 nomination after his impressive start to the 2017 season.

The 18-year-old polled two NEAFL MVP votes this week after collecting 23 disposals and a goal in the Demons’ loss to Aspley, backing up from 28 disposals and 11 clearances against Redland in Round 1.

Originally from the Northern Jets, he is a former NSW/ACT Rams representative who was selected in the Allies side for the National Under-18 Championships last year.

Read the full story here.


Adam Sambono (NT Thunder)

Age: 19. NEAFL Games: 1.

NT Thunder forward Adam Sambono has been awarded the Round 1 NEAFL Rising Star nomination after his best-on-ground effort against Aspley.

The slightly-built 19-year-old stole the show in the opening round at Darwin’s TIO Stadium, booting 6.4 and polling nine NEAFL MVP votes in a stunning debut appearance.

Read the full story here.





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